Luke could have said, “There were a couple in Jerusalem, a man and his wife, who sold some property and misrepresented the amount they gave, and for this the Lord killed them!” But for some reason, he told us exactly who they were. And Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit. Most preachers today can’t even use the word “lie”, much less call the one that has sinned by name.
Peter said, “Judas by transgression fell that he might go to his own place.” (Acts 1:25). Peter indicated that he had some doubt about Judas going to heaven. Some might say, “What a terrible thing to say. He was judging the poor fellow.” Such is called righteous judgment, which is necessary to preach the Word (Jn 7:24).
Paul tells us that “Elymas” was a “child of the devil,” an “enemy of all righteousness.” He told Elymas that. Can’t you just imagine how mortified some of the sophisticated upper crust would react to that kind of preaching today? I shouldn’t wonder if Paul would get “fired” immediately in today’s society.
John Mark turned back from the work and went not with Paul and Barnabas. Later Paul and Barnabas had such a disagreement over Mark that they split up. Luke says the contention between them was “sharp.” I have known many who said they would not for anything let their “unsaved” friends read a paper in which brethren are having “sharp contention.” Wonder if they tear out this chapter in Acts? (Acts 15:39). Later on, Paul speaks very favorably of Mark. He redeemed himself, and Paul held no grudges. (2 Tim. 4:11). Yet, no where is it written that Paul regretted such animosity over John Mark.
Paul said that Peter acted the part of a hypocrite “when he was come to Antioch.” Peter was human and made human mistakes and some of them are recorded for all succeeding generations to read. This one is found in Gal. 2:11-13.
Paul said, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.” He said Hymenaeus and Alexander had made “shipwreck of the faith,” that Hymenaeus and Philetus had “erred . . . teaching that the resurrection had passed already.”
There are times when gospel preachers ought to be like the old dentist. A young dentist moved to town, and put up a sign that read: “Teeth extracted without pain.” The old dentist put up one that read: “Teeth extracted regardless of pain.” Sometimes it is necessary to name the sinner as well as the sins. Yes, it hurts for the moment, but if that what is necessary to save a soul from hell, then so be it (Jam 5:19,20). Heaven is worth the pain!